Chipping Sodbury RFC back to winning ways
Chipping Sodbury 40 - 39 Chosen Hill
SODBURY came out on top after a simply cuckoo contest containing 13 tries, two yellow cards, four changes of the lead and Chosen Hill’s kicker striking the underside of the crossbar from in front of the posts.
Sodbury’s first try was a typical long-range solo effort by Jon Cook. He powered through Hill’s defence and simply kept going, picking a mazy path to the posts. Hill then took the lead with two unconverted tries before Gavin Edgar reprised his scoring. Pete Butcher provided a quick lineout ball just 15 metres out and Dan Bradley ghosted his way through the defence before passing to Edgar three metres out; he needed all his strength to drag three men over the line to score.
Edgar was in again soon after, when Sodbury’s ICBM, Joe Horton, exploded like a 10 kilotonne bomb and smashed a huge hole for the home team to pour through and Dave Guest was on hand to delivered a delicious pass to Edgar.
But tries just before and after half-time saw Hill take a slender one-point advantage. The Sods kept Hill in their own half from the restart and, when awarded a scrum 40m out, looked to pounce. Bradley hit the line and the pack poured over to produce quick ball. Cook took the next pass and lit the blue touch-paper; with the ball in two hands and support on both sides, he once again embarrassed the defence to sneak in from 30m.
Sodbury’s confidence in their scrum was such that they started to opt for them from penalties. Ben Sharp was drafted in at tight-head after completing a long residential decorating course: he didn’t disappoint and went forward at will. It was one of these scrums, 20m out, which provided the ball for the next Sodbury try. Butcher picked up and drew two tacklers before finding Bradley with a seductive one-handed pass. He in turn passed to Lance Cassemis, who has footwork to rival Michael Flatley – he jinked his way past his man for a fantastic try.
Sodbury now had an 11-point lead, and just as well, as their pesky visitors wouldn’t lie down. They scored two unconverted tries, one an interception of a pass that was thrown one-handed.
Bradley scored Sodbury’s final try from a scrum 15 metres out. But it was Cook who kept Sodbury’s noses in front, converting five out of six tries to ensure Hill’s injury time was not enough, although it left the home support breathless.
Sodbury’s previous home fixture with Wells ended in a far more comfortable 40-15 win.
That match saw the First XV return to winning ways after a few torrid weeks. It also marked Gavin Edgar’s fourth hat-trick of the season, just one highlight of a fine team performance.
It also included a wonderful solo try from Matt Tait, who launched his own 50m kick down the tramlines and gave chase, chipping ahead, and spotting the cover – a card-carrying member of the front row union. Sorry front row-ers but it wasn’t even a contest.
Picture shows Pete Butcher in the thick of it for Chipping Sodbury
Words and photography: Paul Rubery